How to Install Ice Scratchers in Your Snowmobile

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Ice scratchers, while being a beneficial addition to your snowmobile, can be a bit tricky when it comes to installation. If you’re hoping to enjoy a smooth, frictionless ride on your snowmobile, you might want to consider getting these little devices installed. They’ll save your sliders, give you better cooling, and may even extend your sled’s life. But, hang on a minute, there’s something you need to be cautious about. One issue that I’ve noticed is with the quick-adjust hose protector. It ends up being in the way when installing ice-scratchers. But hey, don’t fret! The solution can be as simple as moving it up a notch to make room for the installation. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to correctly install ice scratchers on your snowmobile.

Where Should You Install Ice Scratchers?

Snowmobile ice scratchers are crucial for maintaining the longevity and performance of your snowmobile, especially in low-snow conditions. The scratching action on the ice creates snow dust that is kicked up onto the heat exchangers, providing the necessary cooling effect. So, where to install these handy tools? Well, fellow snowmobilers have suggested a few options. The most common recommendation is to drill a hole in the rail of your snowmobile. The exact location for drilling might vary depending on your preference and riding style. Some users suggest mounting them behind the wheels, particularly behind the spring mount or in the second set behind the spring mount. Another approach is to drill out an existing hole in the rail. This option spares you from creating new holes, and it could be a good choice if the position aligns with your needs. Remember, this is your first time installing ice scratchers, so take it slow and steady. And don’t forget, safety first!

How to Install Ice Scratchers

Step-by-step Guide to Installing Ice Scratchers

  1. Preparation: First off, you’ll need to prepare your tools. Remember, we’re drilling holes in your snowmobile rail, so it’s crucial to have the correct drill bit size. Make sure you have your ice scratchers and the mounting hardware that came with them.
  2. Locate the Mounting Spot: Based on our discussion earlier, decide where you want to install the ice scratchers on your snowmobile. Remember, you could mount them behind the wheels, specifically behind the spring mount or in the second set behind the spring mount. Or you could opt to modify an existing hole in the rail.
  3. Drilling: Once you’ve determined the location, it’s time to drill. I suggest doing this slowly and carefully to avoid any mishaps. If you’re using an existing hole, you might just need to widen it.
  4. Mount the Ice Scratcher: Now, line up the mounting hole of the ice scratcher with the hole you’ve drilled in the rail. Insert the provided bolt through the holes, then fasten it securely with the nut.
  5. Check Your Work: Give the ice scratcher a few wiggles to make sure it’s secure. The last thing you want is for your ice scratcher to come loose when you’re out on the trails!
  6. Repeat on the Other Side: Now that you’ve got the hang of it, repeat the process on the other side. Two ice scratchers are typically better than one, they provide stability and ensure efficient cooling.

Potential Issues When Installing Ice Scratchers

Let’s address the potential problems you might encounter while installing ice-scratchers. Firstly, drilling holes in the rails can be a bit tricky. You might be concerned about causing structural issues with the snowmobile, I can understand that. The key is to choose a “meaty” area for drilling. This means finding a spot where the rail is solid and thick enough to handle the hole without compromising its integrity.

Secondly, you might have heard some riders saying that they prefer to move the wheels around when installing ice-scratchers. But, let me tell you, it’s advisable to leave them in their original positions. The wheels are set up that way for a reason, and moving them can cause balance issues and affect the smooth operation of your sled. So, it’s better to stick with the original setup and work your ice scratchers installation around it.

A common issue that riders have reported is dents in the edge of the footwell, often noticed when installing ice scratchers in front of the wheels during aggressive riding. This can be frustrating, I know. But don’t worry, it’s not a major issue and won’t affect the performance or safety of your sled. Just be a bit more careful while installing the scratchers and avoid putting too much pressure on the footwell.

Another problem you might come across is the quick adjust hose protector being in the way when installing the ice-scratchers. It can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to get the job done and something else is hindering your progress. But, there’s a simple solution to this. Try moving the hose protector up a notch. This should give you the necessary clearance to install the ice scratchers without any interference. Remember, installing ice scratchers is a bit of a learning process. You might run into a few roadblocks along the way, but with a bit of patience and practice, it’ll become second nature.

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Thomas Miller
My name is Thomas Miller. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years and I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.